Happy Children’s Book Week!
Isn’t this bookmark cool? You can order some from the Children’s Book Council website.
Of course I especially love the cooking references in Pam Munoz Ryan’s poem. Cooking and writing are so much alike. You can spend ages gathering ingredients, measuring, chopping, stirring, mixing, blending, waiting for something to cook or gel, and then when you finally serve it, it’s gobbled up in seconds. Whenever you cook something, you’re never precisely sure how it will taste, or if people will like it. Exactly the same with books.
My first picture book, Dumpling Soup, took about five years to write. Five years of revisions and rejections, five years of honing the story and wondering whether I’d ever get it right, five years of huge self doubt. After it was finally accepted by Little, Brown, it took another three years before it was released. Of course the book can be read in less than ten minutes. This is why I am a very old person today.
Publisher’s Weekly Best Book of the Year
Not so old, though, that I don’t remember my favorite childhood nursery rhymes. So, why not celebrate Children’s Book Week with recipes inspired by Mother Goose? This is where it really began for most of us: being held in somebody’s lap, having big hands hold our little ones, clapping and laughing, as we heard the words:
Pat-a-cake, Pat-a-cake, baker’s man.
Bake me a cake as fast as you can.
Pat it and prick it and mark it with a ‘B’,
And put it in the oven for Baby and me.
A simple rhyme became as pleasurable and memorable as the food we loved. It was passed on to us, as it had been passed down to millions of other children for hundreds of years. This first “song of words” comprised our first poetic meal. I don’t know about you, but food and words have been my passions ever since.
2 c vanilla wafer crumbs
6 T butter
2 T sugar
pinch of salt
Mix crumbs, melted butter, sugar and salt. Press into the bottom of 9″ springform pan.
1/2 c lemon juice
6 packages (3 oz each) cream cheese
4 beaten eggs
1 1/2 c sugar
Mix lemon juice, cheese and blend well. Add sugar and eggs. Beat until fluffy. Pour into crumb crust and bake in 350 degree oven for 40 to 50 minutes until almost firm.
1 T grated lemon peel
1 T sugar
1 c sour cream
Mix all three and spread over cake after it has cooled five minutes. Return to oven and bake 5 minutes. Cool, put in refrigerator and chill at least five hours before serving.
Tomorrow: Pease Porridge Hot!